The Sealed Book was a radio series of mystery and terror tales, produced and directed by Jock MacGregor for the Mutual network. Between March 18 and September 9, 1945, the melodramatic anthology series was broadcast on Sundays from 10:30pm to 11:00pm.
Each week, after "the sound of the great gong," host Philip Clarke observed that the mysteriously silent "keeper of the book has opened the ponderous door to the secret vault wherein is kept the great sealed book, in which is recorded all the secrets and mysteries of mankind through the ages, Here are tales of every kind, tales of murder, of madness, of dark deeds strange and terrible beyond all belief." After this introduction, the dramas began, occasionally interrupted by curiously extended organ solos. Although this anthology series did not have recurring characters (other than the Narrator and the Keeper of the Book), the writers often used the same names for different characters from week to week, including "Hester," "Drake," and most especially "Roger."
At the end of an episode, Clarke told listeners to tune in the following week when "the sound of the great gong heralds another strange and exciting tale from... the sealed book."
Scripts were by Robert Arthur, Jr. and David Kogan, who also were responsible for The Mysterious Traveler, and recycled many of the more popular stories from that parent program. "The Hands of Death" was the first of the 26 episodes which concluded with "Death Laughs Last."
Information from WikiPedia
It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
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This is the Single Episode Page. The Certified Set includes extras not found here. It is located at OTRR Certified Set. This page is provided in case you want to sample the shows.
Note that in many cases, file names have been modified from the original OTRR names to conform to archive.org naming requirements.
Relax, listen, and enjoy!
OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that is Certified Accurate indicates that all the episodes are properly identified and labeled but that the series does not contain all known extant episodes.
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February 24, 2021 Subject:
The best of the worst
When it comes to old time radio, The Sealed Book is the absolute king of the "so bad it's good" category. Melodramatic to ridiculous extremes, shamelessly contrived plots, and every actor is his or her very own William Shatner. Every single episode is a big old block of cheese, and it's a hoot. Personally, it's in my top 10. It makes me laugh more than actual comedy otr. Don't miss this gem! Every single episode is cheesy goodness, I promise!
December 23, 2018 Subject:
The "curiously extended organ solos."
. . . are for the purpose of letting the sponsors insert their messages!
As for the show, typical of the overblown melodramatic shows of the same nature. Heaven only knows how many times the same sort of stories have been told over and over--like the ones about "changing the will"--however.
Very clear, like they were made in modern times. I've only listened to the "Hands of Death". It is a pretty good, pulpy story. Entertaining.
December 26, 2016 Subject:
Good so far
i listen to old time radio in the evening. i greatly enjoy it. tThis evening is my first listen to the Sealed Book series.... not bad
April 13, 2013 Subject:
organ music interludes
The Sealed Book episodes were syndicated to fill timeslots on the Mutual Broadcasting Network. Organ music was used to fill portions of the program so that local advertising spots could be used. Since Mutual catered to independent radio stations, these programs could be sold or leased at a cheaper rate. Detective programs such as Philo Vance and Boston Blackie were sold in this manner.
January 13, 2013 Subject:
I can't believe all the tapes and CDs I have stowed away in boxes that I've paid big money for. Never did I think these shows would be here to enjoy for free. What a great gift! Thanks so much.
October 15, 2012 Subject:
The Length of the Organ?
These shows are great! They aim for a pulp-y type of horror and they really succeed. The acting is hammy and melodramatic but it all comes together - very different than SUSPENSE, but no less enjoyable.
My guess for the extended organ solos is that they were meant for commercials to be played - back in the day this would have been easier to make sure everything was staying on time. I bet these were pre-recorded to disc, and copies sent out across the country, where the local stations would play their own commercials).
March 30, 2012 Subject:
Wonderful quality and fun listens
These are the best quality recordings from the era I've ever heard. Nice stories, with very quirky organ interludes. I wonder if those were inserted because the actual scenes took less time performed than when rehearsed.
March 17, 2011 Subject:
A good classic mystery/horror series. In EXCELLENT, clear quality! Thank you so much for uploading these!